Birding And Golf Along The Sacramento River – Camera Critters #40

by Larry on January 10, 2009

River Bend Golf & Country Club photos by Larry Jordan

It started off like any other cold winter day in Redding with a frost delay.  It was my weekly golf day and, with an 8 AM tee time, we often have frost delays when the sky is clear and that beautiful frost covers the ground and makes everything sparkely.

The only thing that made this day a bit different was the fact that I had my new camera with me.  You see, the golf course borders on the Sacramento River, which runs through this growing town of Redding, in northern California.

We always see several species of birds as well as other wildlife while chasing that little white ball around the beautiful green countryside, and I thought this a perfect opportunity to capture some of these critters while waiting for the frost to leave.

I headed across the bridge that spanned a small inlet from the river.  Beavers live here during high water winters and springs.  Now, due to low rainfall, the shallow water is ripe for Mallards and Canada Geese.The Great Egret enjoys these shallow mudflats as well.Crossing the 8th fairway, heading for the Sacramento River, I come across two young mule deer just emerging out of the blackberry bushesAs I reach the river I am greeted by a Double-crested Cormorant that I attempt to capture flying down riverfollowed by a male Common Merganser heading up river, easily identified by the red beak, green-black head and red feet, all aligned perfectly in a horizontal planeFurther down river, heading my way is a group of Buffleheads accompanied by a couple of Ruddy Ducks and Common Goldeneye (not pictured)A female Mallard flying by caught my eye as I tried to capture that beautiful blue speculum she displays with the white bordersBy this time, I figured I’d better head back to the clubhouse.  It must be getting close to the time the starter told us we could tee off.  Turning to go back I caught a Black Phoebe hawking insects from an overhanging branchAlmost back to the clubhouse I found a Song Sparrow foraging in the grassand as I reached the inlet again, under the bridge, I captured that Great Egret getting a decent “in flight” shot through some tall grass

I hope you enjoyed my early morning, frost delayed photo journey.  As I get familiar with the camera, my photographs should improve but I love being able to capture some of the wildlife some folks never get to see.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Terri - teelgee January 10, 2009 at 12:59 pm

Larry, wonderful photos! That egret is spectacular, the first with the reflection and second on wing.

Thanks for commenting on my photos. I agree about the female merganser – I think she’s, dare I say, adorable! The male is showy but she’s beautiful.

I’ll be watching your blog for more!

Terri – teelgees last blog post..Camera Critters – 01-10-09: On the Pond

theArthurClan January 10, 2009 at 1:24 pm

Lovely photos ~ thanks so much for sharing them!

theArthurClans last blog post..January 10th

sandy January 10, 2009 at 1:43 pm

i feel very sorry for you having to golf with all that splendid scenery . o woe is you hahah new word for me bufflehead..sandy

sandys last blog post..Camera Critters #40 – the Affair !(brought to You by the Kessler Star – a local tabloid ),

Mimi January 10, 2009 at 1:44 pm

I know they’re insulalted, but I always worry about their bellies getting cold!

Amanda January 10, 2009 at 3:57 pm

Nice Geese! I love Redding this time of year has the water level of Lake Shasta come up yet? Thanks for posting these great shots!

Amandas last blog post..Photohunt

Debbie January 10, 2009 at 4:00 pm

Gorgeous series of photos! The Egret in flight is breathtaking.

Debbies last blog post..Camera Critters #40

Dianne January 10, 2009 at 4:20 pm

te reflection in the water is beautiful!

Diannes last blog post..Camera Critters: 2 Guys Hanging Out

Larry January 10, 2009 at 8:42 pm

@Angie thanks for sharing your great photos and stoppping by to see mine

@Sandy, Frosty looks just like my cat Buddy! And, BTW, please don’t use Bufflehead as a derogatory word OK?

@Mimi don’t worry, I have seen geese in frozen water

@Amanda I love your puma! Last I checked, Shasta was down 77 feet! We need rain! I’m going to have Brigitte do a rain dance soon ;-)

@Debbie thanks for stopping by. I love your Bald Eagle captures, beautiful!

Natural Moments January 10, 2009 at 10:48 pm

Sometimes a golf course can be a haven for wildlife, especially within the cities.

Natural Momentss last blog post..Sunset Over the Olympic Mountains

Larry January 11, 2009 at 7:43 am

@Bernie what you say is very true. My friend Vicki in Sacramento has a very successful bluebird trail on a golf course in Sacramento. I will shortly be contacting a course here in Redding to monitor bluebird nest boxes on the golf course here.

Any course with water usually has at least Canada geese plus all the songbirds you would see in that particular habitat. Plus we get to see all the other wildlife around the courses because they are relatively undisturbed.

This is one of the main reasons I enjoy golf. It is like a walk in a beautiful nature setting. Sometimes I think it would be better if I didn’t have to chase the little white ball around while taking my nature walk!

karen January 11, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Great shots, especially the ones of the Egret…

karens last blog post..Camera Critters …. A Cat’s Life ..

Lisa's Chaos January 11, 2009 at 6:40 pm

I always love watching mallards. They’re so funny. :)

Larry January 11, 2009 at 10:04 pm

@Karen thanks for the gracious comment

@Lisa you’re right. Those dabbling ducks like the Mallard are fun to watch as they “upend” to feed with their butts up in the air

Klaus January 12, 2009 at 8:10 am

Nice shots, Larry!
Well done!
Cheers, Klaus

ramblingwoods January 12, 2009 at 3:13 pm

I love any photos with mallards..LOL and the hawk below is wonderful

Misty Dawn January 12, 2009 at 7:16 pm

WOW! You certainly got to see a LOT of beautiful wildlife! What a fantastic day! Your photos are awesome… I really enjoyed this post.

Misty Dawns last blog post..Camera-Critters #40

Tina January 15, 2009 at 3:35 am

you sure got to see alot of wildlife in one day. thats wonderful! great action shots

thanks for stopping by my cc :)

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